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Creditors agree to Greek bond deal

From Elinda Labropoulou, CNN
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1104 GMT (1904 HKT)
The Greek flag flies in front of the Parthenon on the Acropolis on February 17, 2012 in Athens, Greece.
The Greek flag flies in front of the Parthenon on the Acropolis on February 17, 2012 in Athens, Greece.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than 85% of private bondholders agree to the deal
  • It paves the way for Greece to get another bailout
  • "I wish to express my appreciation to all of our creditors," deputy prime minister says

Athens (CNN) -- Creditors agreed to a plan to restructure Greek government bonds, government officials said Friday, marking a vital move to the financial future of the country.

The monumental deal means Greece has cleared its final hurdle to qualify for the €130 billion bailout program from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

More than 85% of private bondholders agreed to the deal, Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in a statement.

The agreement, called the private-sector involvement, gives bondholders unattractive terms, experts have said. Investors who own Greek bonds could now see losses of up to 75%.

Greek debt deal
What Greece means for equity markets

But not doing the agreement could have meant that Greece would not qualify for more bailout money and could face default.

Now that the deal is accepted, European finance officials could approve the final portion of Greece's bailout as early as Friday.

"I wish to express my appreciation to all of our creditors who have supported our ambitious program of reform and adjustment, and who have shared the sacrifices of the Greek people in this historic endeavor," Venizelos said.

The Institute of International Finance, the Washington, D.C.-based industry group that represented the private-sector creditors, applauded the plan.

"The very strong and positive result provides a major opportunity now for Greece to move ahead with its economic reform program," the group said in a statement.

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